Marketing Consultant & Fractional CMO

The Product is the Best Marketing Tool

by | May 1, 2006 | Marketing

Once upon a time, marketing was about hyping the benefits of a product in order to convince you to buy it. Whether you were happy didn’t matter much, because you already had your money and had moved on to other customers.

In a contemporary consumer society, however, that’s thankfully no longer a sustainable marketing method. People talk now. They compare. They post their reactions on message boards and websites where the whole world can find them.

Every single customer has the power to crush your reputation.

For that reason, your product itself is the first and most important marketing medium. No Super Bowl ad, full-page spread in the New York Times, or free clock radio has as much long-term marketing power as simply creating a great product.

Take my agency as an example. The slick website, the expensive business cards, the press releases, etc., are simply supporting materials. Nearly all of our work comes from referrals from customers who have thought Wow, that was great. I’ve got to tell people about these guys.

I doubt that we’ll ever really promote the agency through traditional advertising channels because the money and time would be better spent improving the experience for our existing customers. By providing high-quality products and services, we’ve generated more referral business than we know what to do with.

Unfortunately, this puts marketing directors in a difficult position. They’re still stuck in a company structure in which they can have little effect on the actual goods being sold.

It’s a shame, because that’s where they’re most needed.

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